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Psychological Contract Fulfilment, Perceived Employability and Engagement: Temporary vs. Permanent Agency Workers Rita Fontinha 1 & Nele De Cuyper 2 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychological Contract Fulfilment, Perceived Employability and Engagement: Temporary vs. Permanent Agency Workers Rita Fontinha 1 & Nele De Cuyper 2 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychological Contract Fulfilment, Perceived Employability and Engagement: Temporary vs. Permanent Agency Workers Rita Fontinha 1 & Nele De Cuyper 2 1 Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth 2 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven

2 Previous Research on Temporary Work Research on temporary work usually focuses on comparisons between: Directly-Hired Temporary and Permanent Workers (see De Cuyper et al., 2008a, for a review; Konrad et al., 2013) Temporary Agency Workers and Directly-Hired Permanent Workers (De Cuyper et al., 2008b; Chambel & Castanheira, 2006; Guest et al., 2003; Klein Hesselink et al., 1998; Wilkin, 2013) We will now focus on Temporary Agency Work and compare it to a relatively under investigated type of contingent work: Permanent Agency Work (exception Svensson & Wolvén, 2010).

3 Temporary vs. Permanent Agency Work Temporary Agency WorkPermanent Agency Work Workers hired by an agency for a defined period of time and assigned to user undertakings to work under their supervision Workers hired by an agency to work in temporary assignments at user firms, but they continue being paid between assignments (two thirds of their last salary or the minimum salary) (Article 183 of the Portuguese Labour Code, 2009; Official Journal of the European Union L327/9, 2008) Less insecurity

4 Psychological Contract Fulfilment An individuals belief regarding the terms and conditions of a reciprocal exchange agreement between that focal person and the organisation for which he or she works (Rousseau, 1995). The Client/User firm The content of the psychological contract refers to promises made between the employee and the organisation. The fulfilment of the psychological contract refers to the extent to which the promises are kept. Psychological Contract

5 Psychological Contract Fulfilment and Engagement Psychological Contract Fulfilment Engagement + Psychological Contract Fulfilment is associated to the fulfilment of perceived obligations by the employer (the client organisation here). This perception will lead workers to reciprocate (Blau, 1964; Gouldner, 1960) by demonstrating favourable attitudinal and behavioural outcomes, such as: Higher Organisational Commitment e.g. Fontinha, Chambel & De Cuyper, 2012 Less Turnover Intentions e.g. Bal, Cooman, & Mol, 2013 Better Performance e.g. Conway and Coyle-Shapiro, 2011 Higher levels of Engagement e.g. Bal, Cooman, & Mol, 2013

6 Psychological Contract Fulfilment and Engagement Psychological Contract Fulfilment Absorption Vigour Dedication Being strongly involved in one's work and experiencing a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge. Schaufeli, Salanova, González-Romá & Bakker, 2001 High levels of energy and mental resilience while working, willingness to invest effort in ones work, and persistence even in the face of difficulties. Being fully concentrated and happily engrossed in ones work, whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself from work.

7 The role of Perceived Employability (PE) PE External PE Internal Perceived ability to find another job with the same employer. Perceived ability to find another job in the external labour market. De Cuyper & De Witte, 2011

8 The role of Perceived Employability (PE) Relevant to study perceived employability, comparing temporary and permanent agency workers! Unclear relationship between contract type (Permanent vs Temporary) and PE: (De Cuyper, Van der Heijden & De Witte, 2011) Psychological Contract Fulfilment PE Internal PE External Engagement PE Internal PE External By fulfilling their psychological contracts, organisations are likely to be providing inducements that enhance internal and external PE (e.g. progression opportunities; transferable skills) Internal PE is likely to be positively related to engagement, due to reciprocity. External PE might negatively relate to commitment, but might relate positively to engagement.

9 Psychological Contract Fulfilment Absorption Vigour Dedication Psychological Contract Fulfilment and Engagement: The role of Perceived Employability PE Internal PE External H1 H1 – Hypothesised Mediation Model

10 Comparing Permanent vs. Temporary Agency Workers H2 - We anticipate that the mediating roles of internal and external employability will be stronger for temporary (vs. permanent) agency workers (due to their more insecure contract type). Permanent Agency Workers Temporary Agency Workers

11 Method – Participants N = 271 Temporary Agency Workers = 89 Permanent Agency Workers = 182 Temporary AWPermanent AW GenderMale 20 / Female 69Male 64 / Female 118 Age EducationSecondary School 60% University 40% Secondary School 53% University 47% Tenure18 months27 months

12 Method - Measures Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) – Schaufeli et al., 2002 – 17 item Dedication (α =.88) Vigour (α =.84) Absorption (α =.83) Engagement (Dedication, Vigour, Absorption) Perceived Employability (Internal and External) Psychological Contract Fulfilment De Cuyper & De Witte, 2010 – 8 item Qualitative PE – Chances of finding a better job Internal PE (α =.69) External PE (α =.81) Rousseaus (2000) scale, 32 items, Portuguese version (Chambel & Alcover, 2011). Balanced (α =.91) Relational (α =.89) Transactional (α =.78)

13 Results – Multiple Group Comparisons with SEM Psychological Contract Fulfilment Absorption Vigour Dedication PE Internal PE External TemporaryAgencyWorkers n.s. Chi-Squared = ; DF = 346; TLI =.91; CFI =.92; RMSEA =.05; SRMR =.08 Sobel Dedication = 2.01, p<.05 Sobel Absorption = 1.95, p<.05.43**.33**.44**.42***.33* n.s..28* -.47*** -.60*** -.47**

14 Results – Multiple Group Comparisons with SEM Psychological Contract Fulfilment Absorption Vigour Dedication PE Internal PE External PermanentAgencyWorkers -.32*** Chi-Squared = ; DF = 346; TLI =.91; CFI =.92; RMSEA =.05; SRMR =.08.39**.34***.55***.56*** n.s.

15 Discussion Temporary Agency Workers are likely to foresee a stepping stone to better career opportunities with that client. This is why we found: PC Fulfilment Perceived Internal Employability Dedication Absorption For Temporary Agency Workers, external PE is not influenced by PC Fulfilment, and it is negatively related to all dimensions of engagement.

16 Discussion Permanent Agency Workers are likely to perceive that the transition to a permanent contract with an agency (despite objectively more favourable) is not a positive inducement for their careers. They are likely to feel permanently precarious! For Permanent Agency Workers, PC Fulfilment is positively related to Internal PE, as expected, but negatively related to External PE (less perceived opportunities outside). But neither is related to Engagement!

17 Managerial Implications Especially in the current context of economical crisis, companies will tend to avoid temporary agency work as a selection mechanism and continue working with the same workers without providing them a direct contract. We have investigated a particular type of contingent employment that may become more and more frequent (Kalleberg et al., 2000). However this may lead to less engagement and unwanted negative attitudinal and behavioural outcomes that may jeopardize the organizational performance. More careful career development strategies are needed!

18 Thank you for your attention! QUESTIONS?

19 TempAWPermanentAWFSig. PCFulBal PCFulRel PCFul Trans PE External PE Internal Dedication Absorption Vigour

20 Correlations Contract Type PCFulBalPCFulRelPCFul Trans PE External PE InternalDedicationAbsorptionVigour Contract Type ** **.139 * ** ** ** PCFulBal ** **.607 ** **.336 **.478 **.392 **.408 ** PCFulRel ** ** **.333 **.454 **.351 **.384 ** PCFul Trans **.607 **.611 ** **.256 **.380 **.280 **.294 ** PE External.139 * ** ** ** ** ** ** PE Internal **.333 **.256 ** **.217 **.190 ** Dedication **.478 **.454 **.380 ** **.276 ** **.812 ** Absorption **.392 **.351 **.280 ** **.217 **.794 ** ** Vigour **.408 **.384 **.294 ** **.190 **.812 **.814 ** 1 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).


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